Let's Talk About "Binders Full of Women": Gender and the Presidential Debate

During the most recent presidential debate last night, Katherine Fenton asked both candidates to comment on what they would do if elected to address inequalities in the workplace, since women still make roughly 2/3 of what their male counterparts make despite having the same qualifications and experience. During his answer, Romney mentioned that he received “binders full of women” from which to choose female workers to satisfy Affirmative Action while Governor of Massachusetts. Ultimately, he did not answer Fenton’s question; however, what I want to drive home for us in this class is this:

The language we employ will always reveal what we value and how we see the world, whether we’re consciously trying to convey these things or not.

In his post, Dr. John Murphy, a professor at University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, offers a rhetorical breakdown of why we should care specifically about Romney’s wording when it comes to this issue. Read “Why We Care About ‘Binders Full of Women’.”

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